Auto Ranging DMM

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markz   100 GW

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Auto Ranging DMM

Post by markz » Nov 13 2018 12:54pm

What are your guys' & gals' thoughts on using or preferring to use an Auto Ranging vs Manual Dial ?

My old dmm broke (input bullet connector switch. Momentary sw held down by plug) capable of 20A meas.
I then purchased an auto ranging on sale $25 (at CT) and planned to fix the old dmm, with 10A meas.
Then I said F-it and bought 2 more dmm's that are manual and were on sale for $15 (at CT), with 10A meas.

All Mastercrap
All from Crappy Tire

Every few years they change the dmm around, keeping the same product # this version went from 20A to 10A.

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ElectricGod   10 MW

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Re: Auto Ranging DMM

Post by ElectricGod » Nov 13 2018 7:41pm

I've been using autoranging DMM's for 15 years at least. I forgot about manual ranging. I had one of those for many years...finally gave it to a friend that needed a DMM.

Go with anything name brand and it will serve you well...
Fluke
Klein
Reed
etc
ElectricGod...it's a joke...don't take things so seriously folks!

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amberwolf   100 GW

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Re: Auto Ranging DMM

Post by amberwolf » Nov 13 2018 11:03pm

What I like about my Fluke (77-IIIa) is that its' autoranging, but has a Range button to let me manually set it to a specific range.

That's useful when I want to make quick measurements, like a battery balance check, or checking a bunch of voltages, or resistances, that are all within a small range. If I use autoranging, it takes time to settle to the range every time I move the probes, but it just gives me a reading if I use manual range. Much faster if I already know what to expect.

And obvious if the measurement is out of that range--too big and it gives the out of range display, and too small and its' obvious cuz of the zeros or blank spaces.

But I also like my old clunkers like this Simpson, especially for certain types of measurments (like things that may have a time-domain component, since you can see the needle move, where a digital display takes too long to change or settle to be useful, and an oscilloscope is overkill).
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=49550&p=1245554&hil ... r#p1245554

Pic shows the Simpson next to the Fluke.
Image

Used to have a lot more (including some oscilloscopes at least as big as my dogs) but lost almost all that stuff in the fire. Still have a couple Nixie-tube digital meters...but I don't ever end up actually using them these days.

markz   100 GW

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Re: Auto Ranging DMM

Post by markz » Nov 14 2018 1:58pm

ElectricGod
Ya aint it nice to have a good DMM, (Fluke, Klein, Reed, etc) expensive but good to have.
Can't go wrong with a dmm on sale for $20, but replacing it every few yrs is no bueno, its a good point you make as the broken unit I have is ~1yr and them Fluke's last a long long time ;)


AW
That is what I dont like about the Auto Ranging, quick meas. takes time for it to settle when doing same range meas. and good when you are doing m
I guess I will keep the auto ranging and return one of the two manual dial. The broken one is fixable, easily so for someone with small fingers :lol:
amberwolf wrote:
Nov 13 2018 11:03pm
.

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izeman   10 GW

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Re: Auto Ranging DMM

Post by izeman » Nov 14 2018 2:45pm

amberwolf wrote:
Nov 13 2018 11:03pm
That's useful when I want to make quick measurements, like a battery balance check, or checking a bunch of voltages, or resistances, that are all within a small range. If I use autoranging, it takes time to settle to the range every time I move the probes, but it just gives me a reading if I use manual range. Much faster if I already know what to expect.
Exactly my findings as well.

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spinningmagnets   100 GW

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Re: Auto Ranging DMM

Post by spinningmagnets » Nov 14 2018 2:47pm

It's good to have two DMMs, one that's cheap enough, you don't mind too much if it gets broken or stolen.

There's a thread in the stickies about DMMs. Some good selections for $25 up to hundreds

viewtopic.php?f=14&t=66127#p995111

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amberwolf   100 GW

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Re: Auto Ranging DMM

Post by amberwolf » Nov 15 2018 12:55am

FWIW, I carry one of the "free with purchase" harbor fright DMMs on the trike with me, and the others like the Fluke stay home. But I've had to replace that DMM several times, sometimes for mechanical disintegration, sometimes for electronic malfunctions. And I had to use "real" leads, because the ones that come with it fall apart after at most a few dozen uses. :/

The Fluke, on the other hand, has survived all sorts of mechanical and electrical abuse for more than a decade that I've had it, and I got it used when the techshop I worked at (for more than a decade before that) closed. (and I don't even keep it in the rubberized protective housing, which is probably long gone at this point). I'm still using the leads that came with it, too, though had to regrind one of them to a point after vaporizing it a long while back. :lol: :oops. Needs new fuses for the current function, though, cuz I blew them a long time back and they're not cheap. :/

markz   100 GW

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Re: Auto Ranging DMM

Post by markz » Nov 18 2018 10:57pm

Nothing is free in the frozen north, all we got is mastercrap and powerfisted if you know what I mean.

Blew through a few fuses, CT's MCrap changed the fuse sizes and no longer sells the old fuses. No big deal, B&E sells a few ceramics and lots of glass for 10's of cents, I notice the Fluke's fuses are $10 each. I have 4 dmm's and one is easily fixable. The Auto Ranging one currently selling at MCrap is auto-turn off with an audible warning, but its a 10A current measurement, good for the 7A laptop chargers.

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